Full Face of Makeup: What I do and How I do it

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On a day-to-day basis I don’t wear a full face of makeup. This is mostly due to the fact that I work at 8 am and I like sleeping in almost as much as I like Chris (my fiance).

However, I do love doing a full face of makeup. I think its so fun and creative. So, here is what I do and how I do it.

(This is also going to be a really long post so sorry about that.)

The first step for me is always primer. For primer I use the Milani Prime Perfection. I like the way this makes my skin feel and its great for my makeup to go on. I don’t feel like it makes it too oily or dry. The consistency is a bit like sunscreen but it helps set my skin up for foundation really well.

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My next thing is always eye primer. I use a tinted primer because for me I think it makes my shadow look really good as well as makes it stay in place really well. I use the Ulta Beauty Tinted Primer in Satin Blush. This is a really creamy formula but I think sometimes I don’t even need to put on shadow because I love the color so much.

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Next I do color correction. Because I have some red pigmentation on my skin from acne scarring I use green color correction to offset it. I use the Maybelline New York Coverstick Corrector Concealer. It goes on really well and I feel like it has a really good balance of color that covers my pigmentation.

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Then I color in my brows. My eyebrows are basically non existent until I put them there so this is probably my favorite step. I use the No. 7 Beautiful Eyebrow Pencil. I have used this forever and I absolutely love it. Pencils are definitely my favorite way to color by brows in because I have never had much luck with powders or gels.

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Than I start with eyes. For my shadow I use an Ulta Beauty brand pallet I got for free a little while ago. Since this is a sample size instead of a normal one I don’t know exactly the palette is called. It has some great colors in it and you can definitely tell that it has been well loved.

The eyeliner I am currently using is the NYX Skinny Eye Marker. I love that NYX has such a wide variety of sizes and styles for liner. This one is the only one I have tried so far but I love it.

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For mascara my go to is usually the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara but right now I am loving the Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Mascara for my top lashes and the Sonia Kashuk mascara for my bottom lashes. The Maybelline mascara makes my lashes look so big and full and long and is definitely a more affordable mascara option.

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Next is foundation. This one is a little trickier to nail down because I use something different depending on the time of year. Right now I use a combination of the Flower Cosmetics Light Illusion Foundation and the NYX Total control drop foundation. I combine these two mostly because one is a bit too light and the other is a bit too dark. I like the way they go on and I love the way they last all day. The Flower Foundation is a really light coverage foundation but it feels really good. It doesn’t feel heavy and it doesn’t end up looking cakey on my skin.

Other foundations that I like to use are the Maybelline Fit Me as well as the Rimmel 25 Hour wear foundation. Both of these I like for different reasons but I definitely always have a bottle in my makeup bag.

After foundation comes concealer. I apply concealer under my eyes, down my nose, and on the scarring on my cheeks. My staple concealer is the Tarte Shape Tape. I have talked about this a lot before but it is still hands-down my favorite.

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Then I do contour. I use the Flower Lift & Sculpt Contour Kit. I apply highlight down my nose, on my cheekbones, and a touch on my chin. I contour under my cheekbones, the sides of my nose, and on my forehead. I love how pigmented these are and how well they go on over foundation.

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For setting powder I use the Flower Miracle Matte Universal Finishing Powder. I have used colored finishing powders but I think I like the translucent ones the best. It helps my makeup stay in place all day and it helps my skin to look extra flawless.

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Lip color is by far my favorite part of makeup. I have too many colors to count but I’ll just share a few of my current faves. There is the NYX Lip Lingerie in the color Exotic, the Ulta Beauty Lasting Lip Color in the color Crown, Ulta Beauty Matte Lip Cream in the color Stirring, and the Ulta Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in the color Engagement.

The final and last step of this whole process is setting spray. While the Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray will always be my favorite I am currently trying out the Flower Seal the Deal Matte Finish Setting Spray. I honestly don’t know if this is any better or worse but it smells so good that I almost don’t care.

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So this is the basics of my makeup routine. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts that go into a little more detail about how I do it and how I change it up. Also, let me know what your favorite products are and what order you do your makeup in!

Wedding Planning Part 5

Currently we are 79 days away from the wedding! There are still a lot of things to do but I feel like I need to give my mom a huge shoutout. She has taken over much of the planning and is communicating with my fiance’s mom to make sure that everything happens. I was getting pretty bad anxiety attacks so this had really helped to lessen the stress on me right now.

I think I feel like everything is finally starting to come together. The dress, the shoes, the decorations. It feels like maybe this whole day might actually come together. (Did I just jinx myself?)

The only other thing that is stressing me out is planning an open house in California at my parents place. Having parents that live in two separate places is kind of a pain but that means that we get to celebrate with people who are really special to both of us.

So far the biggest thing that I have had to deal with has been letting things go. I have to accept that my dream day is mostly a dream and whatever happens at the end of the day Chris and I will be married and that is the most important part.

If the time changes or if the brides maids dresses aren’t exactly what I want, those things don’t make a difference when it comes down to it. People are here to celebrate us. They aren’t here to celebrate the food or the table decorations.

Let me know what your biggest wedding planning lesson has been!

 

All About Me!

So I realized that I have never really introduced myself to you guys. So here it goes!

My name is Kate and I am currently living in Idaho and going to school for communications with an emphasis in public relations. I also work on campus in the IT department in the communications office.

I am also currently engaged! My fiance’s name is Chris and he is my favorite human being.

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We met on campus and we are planning to get married in September! You can go check out my latest post about wedding planning here.

I also really love makeup and beauty. I started struggling with my skin a little over a year ago and I tried every remedy under the sun. Eventually I broke down and went to a dermatologist here. They gave me not one, not two, but three prescriptions to attack the issue. Albeit my skin definitely struggled a bit at the beginning and eventually came out better and clearer on the other side.

The prescriptions made my skin dryer than the Sahara desert. They also made my skin BURN so much. There were nights I would open the window (during winter when it was below 0 and snowing) so that I could feel the cold air on my face while I laid in Chris’ lap trying not to cry because it made my skin burn more.

My skin has gotten a little better since then and now it only gets dry and burns right around my period.

(Here’s a side by side of my skin 8 months ago and my skin now)

I have also really fallen in love with makeup through this whole process. When I had really bad skin I hated makeup because I didn’t feel like it was covering up enough. Now I have come to the realization that I don’t like to use makeup to cover my skin up but rather to show off my skin. (I know that sounds cliche but whatever.)

I work in a professional environment so the first few times I went to work with pizza face it was a huge struggle. Then I realized that not only was it helping my skin to get better but it was also helping me be more confident.

Now I love that I can wear makeup to show off my skin and I feel so much better about it. I think that not wearing as much makeup now helps me to feel more confident in my skin and realize that no one thinks my skin looks as bad as I do.

I started watching beauty vloggers in high school and I thought they were so cool. I always thought they were these really cool girls who were so pretty and had this really awesome talent. Around this time was when I started really getting into beauty but I had no idea what I was doing. It wasn’t until a little over a year ago when I started to get somewhere and to a point where other people started asking me for my advice.

So that is kind of how I got to where I am now.

Let me know how you guys started to be interested in beauty and blogging in the comments!

My Vacation Skincare

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If you guys are anything like me vacations are amazing but also a bit of a skin nightmare. Unless its a staycation I definitely have to prepare for going anywhere for anymore than a few hours.

So my parents live in California and Chris’ parents live in Boise so anytime we go visit either of them my skin has no idea what to do. In Boise it is super dry (like more dry than Rexburg which I did not previously think was possible) and where my parents live its pretty humid.

I know that when I am in Boise as soon as I wash my face my skin feels like fabric stretched over a drum. However, because of this my skin likes to overcompensate and kick oil production into overdrive.

Usually the day before we leave I make sure that I shower and wash my face earlier in the evening (I am a firm believer in showering at night because I don’t like waking up any earlier than I absolutely have to) and I make sure to use a great moisturizer or skin serum. This helps my skin to get some really good moisture without making it too over oily. The morning of departure I use a really light and water-based moisturizer. This helps my skin to retain everything from the night before and it helps it to be able to not feel so tight the next day.

First of all, generally I don’t wear foundation on a day to day basis but especially not when I am traveling and my skin is confused. I also have to be very careful with the kind of moisturizer I use. Right now I am using a pretty heavy moisturizer at night (the Shea Moisture Daily Defense Moisturizer) and something lighter in the morning (either the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Moisturizer or the Simple Moisturizing Gel Cream.)

Another thing that I think is both a blessing and a curse on vacation is sunscreen. On one hand it keeps my skin protected from the sun but on the other hand it always clogs my pores. I know that there are a lot of great sunscreens out there that are really light and not oily for your skin but I definitely have the type of skin that has very easily clogged pores. I have always used kids sunscreen for my face because it seems to be the only thing that doesn’t irritate it.

If we are traveling somewhere a little more humid then I have to change up my skincare routine. I still use the same face wash but in the morning I use a really light moisturizer because I know that my skin is going to kick into hyperdrive oil production throughout the day. At night I make sure to wash my face with really warm water so that I can get all of the sweat and oil out of it and make sure that it is squeaky clean. Then I use a moisturizer that is somewhere in the middle between light and heavy. Usually here I’ll use a baby lotion because I feel like it makes my skin feel really good in these conditions. I usually go for the Johnson & Johnson night time baby lotion.

Let me know if you guys have any other vacation skincare tips and how you take care of your skin on vacation.

 

Sephora vs. Ulta Beauty

For me the two biggest stores for beauty and makeup have been Ulta and Sephora. I have spent all my life living in California and Idaho and these were always the stores available to me for higher end makeup.

Sephora

Pros:

I have always liked that Sephora is very centered on makeup. They carry a lot of really great brands that I don’t find anywhere else. I love that they cary brands like NARS and Kat Von D and Fenty that aren’t available in many other stores.

I think the sales representatives are also really knowledgable. They know the products really well and can generally suggest something for whatever random suggestion I happen to come in with.

Cons:

Personally, for as many good experiences as I have at Sephora I think I have just as many bad ones. Whether it be a rude sales representative, the products not being in stock, or not having a product I’m looking for. Some of their selection seems to be limited even though they carry many brands.

Ulta Beauty

Pros:

I like that Ulta is centered around general beauty. I like that they carry everything that you need beauty related. I like that you can really start from the bottom up and build your way up. Like i like that you can start with face wash and work all the way to setting spray. I like that there is such a wide variety of skincare items and beauty tools. For me this makes it a really great store.

Sometimes I do struggle with the fact that they don’t carry a lot of the higher end brands but this also keeps me from spending my entire paycheck all at once so maybe it isn’t really that bad of a thing. They carry almost all of my favorite brands and they also have a lot of other drugstore brands that I love like NYX that I don’t find in a lot of other stores.

I also LOVE the small samples that are next to the checkout stand.

Cons:

Some of my favorite brands like Kat Von D and NARS aren’t carried here. I don’t really have any other complaints here.

Conclusion:

I think that for me I am more willing to go to Ulta but Sephora still hold a very special and very large place in my heart. I see so many great things about both of these stores and I love that they are a little different. With my wedding coming up (92 days!!!) I am looking for some good makeup and trying to get a really good routine down for myself so that I don’t have to pay anyone else to do it.

Let me know what stores you guys shop at and where you but your beauty products!

How I Take Care of my Nails

I just want to start off by saying that next to my skin my nails are my next biggest struggle. My nails are usually pretty short because they are weak and thin. They grow quickly but they peel and break pretty easily.

I have only had long nails twice in my life that I can remember. Both times were after I had had acrylic nails and I had just taken them off.

Maybe once Chris and I are married and the stress of wedding planning is no longer a thing in my life then they will be able to grow really long. (Basically meaning that I’ll stop picking at them out of anxiety.)

This post is more meant to be about how I keep my nails healthy and how I keep them from breaking.

Healthy Diet

The first thing that I make sure to do is have enough nutrients in my diet. The better I am taking care of myself the better condition my nails seem to be in. I drink a TON of water in a day and I’d like to think that I eat pretty healthy.

Cuticle Treatment 

I use the Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab treatment. On top of smelling like flowers and candy, this product also helps my cuticles to not be as dry and help me to not get as many hang nails.

Nail Strengthener

I also use nail strengtheners constantly and I always use them under and over my nail polish. When I don’t have my nails painted it helps them to not break and also gives them a nice shine. It also helps them to be able to not peel as badly.

Getting My Nails Done

I also have a pretty bad habit of picking at my nails. I don’t bite my nails but at the first sign of a snag I am picking at it all day. When I get them done by someone else I don’t do it as much and it allows them to grow better. I think it might be something about feeling guilty that someone else has put time and effort into them and I don’t want to ruin it. This does not mean that you have to go to a salon. Chris is generous enough to paint my nails for me for this very reason. He is really patient and actually a lot better at it than I thought he would be.

Wedding Planning Part 4

I bought a dress!!!!!!

I think the biggest thing for me in this stage of wedding planning is realizing that its all real. Seeing myself in a wedding dress as a bride makes it so real. It’s such a crazy and exciting thought that I’m going to be a wife and this wedding is just the first step.

Back to my dress, I know that I initially wanted to have my grandma make my dress but the whole story unfolds in a kind of cool way.

I wanted to try on dresses that were the style that I liked so that I would be sure that it would look good on me. (I have all my dress inspo from Pinterest and they are all 5’10 models and I am only 5’3 on a good day.) So we went to a dress place here in Rexburg and I put on a few others that were okay and then I tried on this one and I fell in love. It fits perfectly and doesn’t need any alterations. On top of that it is less than half my budget. I don’t think that my grandma and I could have even made one for that little so I bought it.

I thought I would be a lot more nervous about the whole process but I feel more accomplished. I feel like this is something else that I have conquered. I only have one last big stressor before the wedding and then I feel like everything else will just flow nicely. (I realize that this is a far-fetched fantasy but a girl can dream right?)

So this is my quick update about wedding planning and where I’m at.

(Also I’m only not posting a pic of the dress because Chris follows my blog.)

Some Products are Worth the Splurge

I am 100% for beauty on a budget. There are a lot of drug store brands that just seem to get it when it comes to beauty products.

However, some items there just aren’t replacements for. Most of these products you can find a pretty good replacement for but it still doesn’t perform at quite the same level as higher end products. These are a few of the products that I really love (and can justify splurging on.)

  1. Better Than Sex Mascara – I think that there are definitely some other great mascaras out there, don’t get me wrong. In my experience it takes a lot more coats to get the same effect. With this mascara I spend the least amount of time trying to make sure my lashes aren’t clumped and they still look like I’m wearing fake lashes. I feel like it really stays on all day and it doesn’t flake off. I think the price is worth every cent.
  2. Shape Tape – I don’t know that I have ever tried a concealer that is quite as pigmented as this. If there are days where I am running late, I can dab this on under my eyes and over some problem areas and be ready to head out the door. It also is a great highlight for under my eyes and on the bridge of my nose when I am doing a full face. For me, that definitely constitutes the price.
  3. Primer- For me personally, primer makes all the difference. I don’t really have a specific product in mind because there are such different kinds of skin. I use a Two Faced primer because I feel like it holds my makeup in place really well and it helps the texture of my skin to be closer to the matte that I like. Honestly, finding a good primer that compliments your skin type is really key.

Also, if you don’t like to splurge on things without being sure then try out places like Sephora that will give you samples of what you’re looking for before you commit to the price. (I just learned today that Sephora gives samples so my life is forever changed.)

As far as a few other things that I will occasionally splurge on there aren’t many. Sometimes I will treat myself with a really nice face wash or a great moisturizer but for the most part I enjoy the hunt for beauty on a budget.

My Skincare Routine

 

For how much I talk about my skin and my skincare I realize that I haven’t shared much about my journey this far so here it goes!

This is what my skin looked like 8 months ago:

 

 

In these pictures I had on makeup and I was definitely using some snap filters. If you have skin that looks like this you are still a beautiful human being and are not defined by the condition of your skin. If you are looking to improve your skin, I have been in your position and I am here with all the advice I can give.

Here is what my skin looks like now:

In the picture on the left I’m not wearing any makeup and in the one on the right I have on the same amount of makeup as in the pictures above.

I think for how badly I want better skin, it would surprise people how few skincare products I use on a daily bases. Before I delve into the details of my skincare I do want to say that I have tried a LOT of skincare products and what I do use is very carefully selected.

About 3 months ago I had a really complicated skincare routine. Now I only use three things (plus my prescription) and I have seen significant improvement in my skin in comparison. All I use right now is face wash and moisturizer.

The last thing that I use isn’t technically something that I use. Its time. I went in this week for a dermatologist appointment and he told me that even with prescriptions and the best skincare products I could find it would still take time.

I think for me personally, I think that the more products I use and the more often I change products the more my skin doesn’t like it. Consistency is key. The idea of my skincare routine now is that I clean all the oil, dirt, and makeup out of my skin and then I replace the moisture in my skin and that’s it. The more I try to do my skin’s job for it, the more that it doesn’t get better.

I know that there are a lot of people who can use products and see results immediately but I have never really been one of those people. My skin is a bit too stubborn for this.

(I feel like I should also mention that I have been working out and drinking a TON of water throughout this process as well.)

Every once in a while I’ll use a face mask or a pore strip but overall I keep my skincare routine as simple as possible. My skin can do a really good job of staying clean and I just try to help it along.

Haircare- Practices and Products

IMG_0519I have always had long hair. (Except the one time in second grade when I thought that I could cut my own hair and I ended up looking like a pre-pubescent boy but we don’t talk about that.) But for the most part I have always had long hair which means that I have 20 years of knowledge that I want to share.

Fair Warning: This will be a rather long post because for some reason I am just really passionate about haircare.

As far as haircare practices go I think that there are a few basic ones that have definitely made a difference for me.

  1. Don’t wash your hair everyday. I feel like this is a pretty common practice and it helps your hair to be able to retain natural oils and keep itself healthy. I generally go for every two days or every other day depending on the weather and my skin condition. I also take time to brush my hair with a really fine-tooth comb on the days that I don’t wash it. This helps to distribute the natural oils in my hair and make it a lot more shiny and soft. I notice that when I do this my hair feels a lot healthier.
  2. Condition your hair every time you shampoo it. You know those expandable pokey balls that kids play with? That’s what my hair ends up looking like if I shampoo it without conditioning it. Shampoo tends to strip hair of the natural oils so if you take them out then you have to put them back in. My hair gets greasy pretty quickly so I just condition the ends of my hair in the shower. (If your hair is already replacing the oils at the rate it needs then why should you use the extra conditioner?)
  3. Avoid using heat as much as possible. I only curl my hair once every few months and I don’t blow dry it at all. I have really long hair so the less damage I do to it the longer it will get instead of breaking off. I know that there are products that can help combat the damage that heat can do but in my personal experience the less you use the better. I also think that people’s natural hair texture looks so good on them!
  4. Deep conditioning can be your best friend. Treat yo self! Sometimes you need to treat yourself with a great hair mask, a good deep condition, or a hot oil treatment. Whatever it is, your hair will thank you for doing it.

As far as products go, I am going to recommend a few brands more so than specific products. I am all for beauty on a budget so all of these are brands you can get at Walmart (or your local drugstore) for relatively cheap.  Everyone has such different types of hair that its hard to just do one product. My hair isn’t particularly thick or thin but it is pretty long. It gets greasy pretty quickly and I have not dyed it since the “Scene Kid Phase” my sophomore year of high school 5 years ago. So here goes my list:

  1. OGX. I have really loved every product I have tried from OGX. It makes my hair seem so soft and so clean and so healthy. My personal favorite is the Argon Oil of Morocco line. I think that the search for a deep conditioner stops here. It smells absolutely AMAZING and nothing makes my hair feel better and more healthy. I use it 2-3 times a week and I definitely notice a difference in how soft and silky my hair is.
  2. Pantene: I think that this is one of my favorite conditioner brands. It always smells good and leaves my hair feeling really healthy. Any time I use heat on my hair I always reach for this more than I reach for other products because I feel like it nourishes my hair a lot more.
  3. Garnier Fructis: Honestly, this product is mostly on my list because I am in love with the way it smells. I usually stick to the naturals line because I can smell it on my hair all day long. The products in the naturals line have ingredients that are more natural (no surprise) and more nourishing for our hair in comparison to the regular line. (I use the Rose Hips one and I always get compliments on how good my hair smells.)
  4. Maui Moisture: This product is VERY aptly named. One thing that I don’t love about this product is the packaging and the fact that the shampoo doesn’t lather very well. For the most part I think that it is really moisturizing and super nourishing for my hair.

There are a few more expensive products that I have used and I liked them but I haven’t noticed a big difference between those and these brands. (At least not enough to justify spending that much on them.) I try to take especially good care of my hair so I am always on the lookout for new brands and products to try!